Sunday, 1 March 2020 : First Sunday of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Matthew 4 : 1-11

At that time, the Spirit led Jesus into the desert that He might be put to the test by the devil. After spending forty days and nights without food, Jesus was hungry. Then the devil came to Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, order these stones to turn into bread.” But Jesus answered, “Scripture says : One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city, set Him on the highest wall of the Temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down, for Scripture says : God has given orders to His Angels about You. Their hands will hold You up lest You hurt Your foot against a stone.” Jesus answered, “But Scripture also says : You shall not put to the test the Lord your God.”

Then the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the nations of the world in all their greatness and splendour. And he said, “All this I will give You, if You kneel down and worship me.” Then Jesus answered, “Be off, Satan! Scripture says : Worship the Lord your God and serve Him alone!”

Then the devil left Him, and Angels came to serve Him.

Sunday, 1 March 2020 : First Sunday of Lent (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Romans 5 : 12-19

Therefore, sin entered the world through one man and through sin, death, and later on death spread to all mankind, because all sinned. As long as there was no law, they could not speak of disobedience, but sin was already in the world. This is why from Adam to Moses death reigned among them, although their sin was not disobedience as in Adam’s case – this was not the true Adam, but foretold the Other Who was to come.

Such has been the fall, but God’s gift goes far beyond. All died because of the fault of one man, but how much more does the grace of God spread when the gift He granted reaches all, from this unique Man Jesus Christ. Again, there is no comparison between the gift and the offence of one man. The disobedience that brought condemnation was of one sinner, whereas the grace of God brings forgiveness to a world of sinners.

If death reigned through the disobedience of one and only one person, how much more will there be a reign of life for those who receive the grace and gift of true righteousness through the One person, Jesus Christ. Just as one transgression brought sentence of death to all, so, too, one Man’s good act has brought justification and light to all; and as the disobedience of only one made all sinners, so the obedience of one Person allowed all to be made just and holy.

Alternative reading (shorter version)

Romans 5 : 12, 17-19

Therefore, sin entered the world through one man and through sin, death, and later on death spread to all mankind, because all sinned.

If death reigned through the disobedience of one and only one person, how much more will there be a reign of life for those who receive the grace and gift of true righteousness through the One person, Jesus Christ. Just as one transgression brought sentence of death to all, so, too, one Man’s good act has brought justification and light to all; and as the disobedience of only one made all sinners, so the obedience of one Person allowed all to be made just and holy.

Sunday, 1 March 2020 : First Sunday of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 50 : 3-4, 5-6a, 12-13, 14 and 17

Have mercy on me, o God, in Your love. In Your great compassion blot out my sin. Wash me thoroughly of my guilt; cleanse me of evil.

For I acknowledge my wrongdoings and have my sins ever in mind. Against You alone have I sinned; what is evil in Your sight I have done.

Create in me, o God, a pure heart; give me a new and steadfast spirit. Do not cast me out of Your presence nor take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Give me again the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. O Lord, open my lips, and I will declare Your praise.

Sunday, 1 March 2020 : First Sunday of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Genesis 2 : 7-9 and Genesis 3 : 1-7

Then YHVH God formed Man, dust drawn from the clay, and breathed into his nostrils a breath of life and Man became alive with breath. God planted a garden in Eden in the east and there He placed Man whom He had created. YHVH God caused to grow from the ground every kind of tree that is pleasing to see and good to eat, also the tree of life on the middle of the garden and the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Now the serpent was the most crafty of all the wild creatures that YHVH God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say : You must not eat from any tree in the garden?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden, but of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden God said : You must not eat, and you must not touch it or you will die.”

The serpent said to the woman, “You will not die, but God knows that the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.” The woman saw that the fruit was good to eat, and pleasant to the eyes, and ideal for gaining knowledge. She took its fruit and ate it and gave some to her husband who was with her. He ate it.

Then their eyes were opened and both of them knew they were naked. So they sewed leaves of a fig tree together and made themselves loincloths.

(Usus Antiquior) First Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 1 March 2020 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Preface, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Offertory

Psalm 90 : 4-5

Scapulis Suis obumbrabit tibi Dominus, et sub pennis Ejus sperabis : scuto circumdabit te veritas Ejus.

 

English translation

The Lord will overshadow you with His shoulders, and under His wings you shall trust. His truth shall encompass you with a shield.

 

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Sacrificium quadragesimalis initii sollemniter immolamus, Te, Domine, deprecantes : ut, cum epularum restrictione carnalium, a noxiis quoque voluptatibus temperemus. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

We solemnly offer the sacrifice at the beginning of Lent, beseeching You, o Lord, that, while we restrict ourselves in the use of bodily food, we may also refrain from indulgence in harmful pleasures. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Preface of Lent

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos Tibi semper et ubique gratias agere : Domine, Sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus : Qui corporali jejunio vitia comprimis, mentem elevas, virtutem largiris et praemia : per Christum, Dominum nostrum.

Per quem majestatem Tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Caeli caelorumque Virtutes ac beata Seraphim socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces ut admitti jubeas, deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes :

 

English translation

It is truly meet and just, right and profitable, for us, at all times, and in all places, to give thanks to You, o Lord, the Holy One, the Father Almighty, the Everlasting God, Who on those who chastise their bodies by fasting had bestowed the restraining of evil passions, uplifting of heart, and the enjoying of virtue with its reward. Through Christ our Lord.

Through Whom the Angels praise, the Dominations adore, the Powers, trembling with awe, worship Your majesty, which the heavens, and the forces of heaven, together with the blessed Seraphim, joyfully magnify. And may You command that it be permitted to our lowliness to join with them in confessing You and unceasingly to repeat :

 

Communion

Psalm 90 : 4-5

Scapulis Suis obumbrabit tibi Dominus, et sub pennis Ejus sperabis : scuto circumdabit te veritas Ejus.

 

English translation

The Lord will overshadow you with His shoulders, and under His wings you shall trust. His truth shall encompass you with a shield.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

Tui nos, Domine, sacramenti libatio sancta restauret : et a vetustate purgatos, in mysterii salutaris faciat transire consortium. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

May the holy partaking of Your sacrament strengthen us, o Lord, and purify us from the old life, and make us sharers in the mystery of salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) First Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 1 March 2020 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew

Matthew 4 : 1-11

In illo tempore : Ductus est Jesus in desertum a Spiritu, ut tentaretur a diabolo. Et cum jejunasset quadraginta diebus et quadraginta noctibus, postea esuriit. Et accedens tentator, dixit Ei : Si Filius Dei es, dic, ut lapides isti panes fiant.

Qui respondens, dixit : Scriptum est : Non in solo pane vivit homo, sed in omni verbo, quod procedit de ore Dei. Tunc assumpsit Eum diabolus in sanctam civitatem, et statuit Eum super pinnaculum templi, et dixit Ei : Si Filius Deus es, mitte Te deorsum. Scriptum est enim : Quia Angelis Suis mandavit de Te, et in manibus tollent Te, ne forte offendas ad lapidem pedem Tuum.

Ait illi Jesus : Rursum scriptum est : Non tentabis Dominum, Deum tuum. Iterum assumpsit Eum diabolus in montem excelsum valde : et ostendit Ei omnia regna mundi et gloriam eorum, et dixit Ei : Haec omnia Tibi dabo, si cadens adoraveris me.

Tunc dicit ei Jesus : Vade, Satana; scriptum est enim : Dominum, Deum tuum, adorabis, et illi soli servies. Tun reliquit Eum diabolus et ecce. Angeli accesserunt et ministrabant Ei.

 

English translation

At that time, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards He was hungry. And the tempter coming said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”

Jesus answered and said, “It is written, man does not live on bread alone, but in every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, and set Him upon the pinnacle of the Temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, cast Yourself down, for it is written, that He had given His Angels charge over You, and in their hands they shall bear You up, lest perhaps You dash Your foot against a stone.”

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, you shall not tempt the Lord your God.” Again the devil took Him up into a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of those, and said to Him, “All these I will give You, if falling down You will adore me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan, for it is written, the Lord your God shall you adore, and Him only shall you serve.” Then the devil left Him, and behold Angels came, and ministered to Him.

(Usus Antiquior) First Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 1 March 2020 : Gradual and Tract

Liturgical Colour : Violet



Gradual

Psalm 90 : 11-12

Angelis suis Deus mandavit de Te, ut custodiant Te in omnibus viis Tuis.

Response : In manibus portabunt Te, ne umquam offendas ad lapidem pedem Tuum.

 

English translation



God had given His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.

Response : In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

 

Tract

Psalm 90 : 1-7, 11-16



Qui habitat in adjutorio Altissimi, in protectione Dei caelincommorabitur.

Dicet Domino : Susceptor meus es Tu, et refugium meum : Deus meus, sperabo in eum.

Quoniam ipse liberavit me de laqueo venantium et a verbo aspero.

Scapulis suis obumbrabit Tibi, et sub pennis ejus sperabis.

Scuto circumdabit Te veritas ejus : non timebis a timore nocturno.

A sagitta volante per diem, a negotio perambulante in tenebris, a ruina et daemonio meridiano.

Cadent a latere tuo mille, et decem milia a dextris tuis : tibi autem non appropinquabit.

Quoniam Angelis suis mandavit de Te, ut custodiant te in omnibus viis tuis.

In manibus portabunt te, ne umquam offendas ad lapidem pedem tuum.

Super aspidem et basiliscum ambulabis, et conculcabis leonem et draconem.

Quoniam in me speravit, liberabo eum : protegam eum, quoniam cognovit nomen meum.

Invocabit me, et ego exaudiam eum : cum ipso sum in tribulatione.

Eripiam eum et glorificabo eum : longitudine dierum adimplebo eum, et ostendam illi salutare meum.

 

English translation



He who dwells in the aid of the Most High, shall abide under the protection of the God of heaven.

He shall say to the Lord, You are my Protector and my Refuge. My God, in Him I will trust.

For He had delivered me from the snare of the hunters, and from the sharp word.

He will overshadow you with His shoulders, and under His wings you shall trust.

His truth shall encompass you with a shield. You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night.

Of the arrow that flies in the day, of the business that walks about in the dark, of ruin and the noonday devil.

A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come nigh to you.

For He had given His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.

In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

You shall walk upon the asp and the basilisk, and you shall trample under your foot the lion and the dragon.

Because he had hoped in Me, I will deliver him, I will protect him, because he had known My Name.

He shall call upon Me, and I will hear him, I am with him in tribulation.

I will deliver him, and I will glorify him, I will fill him with the length of days, and I will show him My salvation.

(Usus Antiquior) First Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 1 March 2020 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Corinthios – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians

2 Corinthians 6 : 1-10

Fratres : Exhortamur vos, ne in vacuum gratiam Dei recipiatis. Ait enim : Tempore accepto exaudivi Te, et in die salutis adjuvi Te. Ecce, nunc tempus acceptabile, ecce, nunc dies salutis.

Nemini dantes ullam offensionem, ut non vituperetur ministerium nostrum : sed in omnibus exhibeamus nosmetipsos sicut Dei ministros, in multa patientia, in tribulationibus; in necessitatibus, in angustiis, in plagis, in carceribus, in seditionibus, in laboribus, in vigiliis, in jejuniis, in castitate, in scientia, in longanimitate, in suavitate, in Spiritu Sancto, in caritate non ficta, in verbo veritatis, in virtute Dei, per arma justitiae a dextris et a sinistris : per gloriam et ignobilitatem : per infamiam et bonam famam : ut seductores et veraces : sicut qui ignoti et cogniti : quasi morientes et ecce, vivimus : ut castigati et non mortificati : quasi tristes, semper autem gaudentes : sicut egentes, multos autem locuplentates : tamquam nihil habentes et omnia possidentes.

 

English translation

Brethren, we exhort you that you receive not the grace of God in vain. For He said, “In an accepted time have I heard you, and in the day of salvation have I helped you. Behold now is the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation.”

“Giving no offence to any man, that our ministry be not blamed, but in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in tribulations, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in prisons, in seditions, in labours, in watchings, in fastings, in chastity, in knowledge, in long suffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Spirit, in charity unfeigned, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the armour of justice on the right hand and on the left, by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastised, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as needy, yet enriching many; as having nothing, and possessing all things.”

(Usus Antiquior) First Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 1 March 2020 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Introit

Psalm 90 : 15, 16 and 1

Invocabit Me, et ego exaudiam eum, et glorificabo eum : longitudine dierum adimplebo eum.

Qui habitat in adjutorio Altissimi, in protectione Dei caeli commorabitur.

Response : Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

He shall call upon Me, and I will hear him; I will deliver him, and glorify him; I will fill him with length of days.

He who dwells in the aid of the Most High, shall abide under the protection of the God of heaven.

Response : Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

Collect

Deus, qui Ecclesiam Tuam annua quadragesimali observatione purificas : praesta familiae Tuae; ut, quod a Te obtinere abstinendo nititur, hoc bonis operibus exsequatur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

O God, Who had purified Your Church with the annual observance of Lent, grant to Your household that what it strives to obtain from You by abstinence it may secure with good works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Saturday, 29 February 2020 : Saturday after Ash Wednesday (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are called by God to leave behind our past lives of sin, of disobedience against God, of rebelliousness and waywardness in life, of all sorts of temptations and things that have separated us from the fullness of God’s love among other things. We are called to embrace instead the fullness of God’s love and mercy as we continue to progress through this blessed season and time of Lent.

The Lord has given us this wonderful opportunity through His Church in the institution of the time of Lent to precede the glorious season of Easter as a reminder that all of us are sinners and are in need of purification and change in our way of life. God will guide us in this journey of reconciliation and forgiveness, if we allow Him to guide our path and open our hearts and minds to welcome Him into our midst. On the other hand, if we are stubborn and refuse to change or be open to God, then we will not have any progress in this regard.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us now take a closer look at what we have just heard in our Gospel passage today. In that occasion, the Lord Jesus called a tax collector named Levi to follow Him, and Levi readily obeyed, leaving everything behind, his work and all, and followed Jesus. Then, before he was to proceed, Levi’s fellow tax collectors had a dinner with the Lord, which was frowned upon by the Pharisees who considered the tax collectors as traitors and sinners.

Tax collectors had always been reviled and hated during the time of Jesus because not only that they were the ones who collected the much hated taxes that saw people’s incomes being diminished due to the tax for the state, but even more so because at that time the Roman Empire reigned supreme in the Mediterranean region and including over Judea, Galilee and all the lands of the Israelites, those taxes were levied by the Romans and the tax collectors were seen as traitors to the nation and as collaborators of the Romans.

To that extent, the tax collectors faced not just intense hatred and dislike but also plenty of prejudice and bias against them. They were seen as dirty, unworthy, wicked, corrupt and evil and were generally shunned by the rest of the society. And this is precisely the sentiment made popular and spread by the Pharisees, who saw themselves as the antithesis of those tax collectors, being pious, good and obedient to the Law, as role models for the people and worthy inheritors of God’s promise.

The Pharisees looked down on the tax collectors and they severely criticised the Lord for His willingness to eat in the house of the tax collector and with those tax collectors no less. But they forgot a very important fact, that just like the tax collectors, they themselves were sinners, but unlike the tax collectors who were willing to listen to the Lord Jesus and accepted His truth, the Pharisees instead hardened their hearts and minds and refused to believe in Jesus.

In what the Lord Jesus then spoke before all of them, that He came into this world seeking those who are sick and troubled, as sins are truly the sickness of our deepest beings, corruptions upon our souls, thus, comparing the attitudes of the tax collectors and the Pharisees, we can easily see which of the two would in the end reap the benefit and wonders of God’s mercy and love. The tax collectors though sinners, they wanted to be healed by God and opened themselves to God’s mercy. And one of their own number, Levi, later to be known as Matthew, became a great saint, one of the Lord’s own Twelve Apostles and one of the Four Evangelists.

Meanwhile, the Pharisees, though also sinners, they did not see the depth of their sins and refused the healing that God has offered them. They kept themselves in their pride and refused to allow God’s healing to work in them. Nonetheless, the Lord continued to be patient with them, and we can see how He even forgave them all at the moment of His ultimate suffering on the Cross, asking His heavenly Father to forgive them their sins.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, what can we learn from all these? It is the fact that all of us are sinners who have been privileged to have such a loving, caring, compassionate and merciful God, willing to embrace us and to heal us from our afflictions of sin. And we are sinners who have been called to a new existence with God, to embrace a new life filled with God’s grace and free from the corruption of sin. God despises our sins, but not us sinners, and therefore, we should make use of this opportunity especially during this season of Lent, we should draw ourselves closer to God.

May the Lord continue to be with us and watch over us as we journey through life and through this penitential season of Lent. May the Lord bless us and our many good endeavours of faith, and may He strengthen our faith and help us to love Him more and more with each passing moment. Amen.